|4 Strand loaf in the process|
|Getting ready to try my hand at 6 strands!|
|4 Strand loaf on the right, 6 on the left.|
|4 strand on top, 6 on bottom|
|again, 4 strand on the right, 6 on the left|
1 ½ cups warm water, separated
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons (2-⅔ packets) dry active yeast
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon oil
4 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoon salt
5 cups all purpose flour, plus more as needed (up to 8-9 cups total)
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1. In mixer bowl combine ½ cup warm water, sugar, and yeast. Allow to proof about 5 minutes until foamy.
2. To the yeast mixture add the honey, remaining water, oil, eggs, salt and 5 cups of flour. Knead until smooth, adding flour as needed. Knead for approximately 10 minutes.
3. Transfer dough to a clean, oiled bowl, turn to coat or add a bit more oil on top. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1½ hours.)
4. Punch down the dough, divide it into two sections. Use one half to make each loaf (shaped or braided as desired).
5. Place loaves on parchment lined or greased baking sheets (this is important- do use two separate sheets. I didn't and my bread rose so much in the oven the loaves ended up touching.) Cover with a towel, allow to rise 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 325℉.
7. Brush top of loaves with egg wash. (sprinkle with seeds or toppings here if wanted)
8. Bake loaves 30-40 minutes until done (will be golden) and cool on wire racks.